Voices for Virginia’s Children Statement on School Shooting in Uvalde, TX
May 26, 2022
RICHMOND, Va. – As news broke of the Uvalde shooting on Tuesday, it brought to light the worst fears for many parents and students. Once again, we are grieving more young lives lost to gun violence. When these situations happen, we’re left trying to figure out how to respond – parents do their best to protect their children, counselors are deployed to provide comfort and children are left to wonder, “who will take care of me?”
We have seen this type of tragedy unfold too often, and legislation to keep children safe from guns and violence fail to advance. We advocate in the halls of power for policies that make children and youth whole and healthy, but also have to watch our leaders fail to act and invest in critical ways that will protect families. Honestly, it’s frustrating and heartbreaking, especially at times like this.
This is a moment where we cannot let our children wonder and worry. We must do all that we can to address violence in our communities, including access to firearms and the safety and mental health needs of our children and parents. Children need help talking about these issues with their parents (resources for parents and caregivers) and to be clear that there are individuals speaking up to keep them safe.
Our work must continue to ensure that Virginia’s future—our children—have access to a long, healthy, safe, and successful life. We demand that our elected leaders take action to prioritize children and put their safety and security first. It will take all of us — parents, caregivers, educators, professionals, and youth—to be champions for children. We need you to stay engaged, use your voice, and advocate to make these changes. Our Racial Truth and Reconciliation Campaign has resources on how to be an advocate and center healing in your advocacy.
We won’t give up on a vision where all children in Virginia can grow up to become healthy and thriving adults. As we collectively mourn the lives of children lost and celebrate their time with us, join us in also taking action to create the conditions where it does not happen again.
Voices for Virginia’s Children is a nonprofit organization committed to improving and protecting the lives of Virginia’s children, youth, and families. We believe every child should have equitable access to the resources, services and opportunities needed to thrive. For us, that means advocating for sound policies, educating the public, mobilizing communities, utilizing data to determine unmet needs, and leading with compassion. Our aim is to always close the systemic gaps that fail children, prioritize racial justice in policymaking, and ensure every voice has a role in shaping their future.